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Successful roadblock removal and funeral march for Gaza during weekend protests


On Friday, February 29th, around 80 Palestinians and international activists removed roadblocks on the street which connects Tuwani village to the city of Yatta , across the settler bypass road 6o. The village, near the settlements Susiya and Ma’on, is situated in Area C, which means it is under full Israeli control. Four weeks ago, the Israeli army placed roadblocks, dug trenches, and piled earth in order to prevent Palestinian mobility. The action which started at about 10:30 was watched by around 20 soldiers and one jeep full of border police. Around 25 Palestinian and international women refilled the deepest trench while 40 people flattened the largest earth pile. Two of four concrete roadblocks were removed by children and women with shovels and bare hands. After two and a half hours the action was done and cars and tractors could use the street again.


On Friday, February 29th, around 40 villagers of Bil’in, along with Israeli and international activists, marched together towards the Annexation Wall, which separates the village from 60% of its land.

The demonstration was small but creative, with different organizations taking part in a funeral march towards the wall. A small coffin and a bundle were used to represent the 6-month old baby recently killed in Gaza. The flags of Hamas and Fatah were flown next to each other, and next to Palestinian flags, while the villagers sang songs of national unity. Activists also unfurled a meters-long banner of black, giving the march its proper solemnity.

The Boomchucka Circus, the Irish Palestine Solidarity Movement, the International Solidarity Movement, and Jewish Voices for Justice and Peace were all in attendance, marching with Palestinians and Israelis towards the wall while one man played the saxophone. When the group reached the wall, one man walked towards the gate with the fake dead baby, he was alone and unarmed and less than 40 meters from the soldiers (the minimum distance to shoot), but after he had turned his back to them, returning to the demonstration, the army fired upon him nonetheless with rubber-coated steel bullets. He was hit and ran, later he fall to the ground, the fake baby also fell.

There seemed to be as many soldiers as activists, and the soldiers came in between to split the group in two. The group of demonstrators a the front of the demonstration reported extreme cases of physical assault by soldiers and the army commander alike. The rest of the group farther back choked under the rain of teargas and hid from rubber bullets.

After about an hour the demonstrators returned to the village, four people had been injured in the demonstration, one person detained.